Georgian – A learner’s grammar

Hewitt, George  Georgian – A learner’s grammar (Routledge, London) ISBN 0415102731

Hewitt, George  Georgian – A learner’s grammar (Routledge, London) ISBN 0415102731

A thorough, if slightly idiosyncratic, introduction to the Georgian language

This was one of several books which I used when I first embarked upon the lengthy and arduous process of attempting to learn the Georgian language, more than 15 years ago. Having worked my way though more or less all of it (although I must admit that the earlier chapters are far better thumbed than the later ones), and having used several other books (some of which are, or shortly will be, included in the BGS book list), I can say that this book was extremely helpful to me. The fact is that Georgian is a very complicated language for a native English speaker and there are few books available to assist one.

There are several idiosyncrasies in the book, of which I will mention just one – the “English-Georgian phrase list” at the end of the book; rather than the standard phrases one might expect, such as “What does a bottle of water cost?” (which is absent from this list), it contains such gems as “Fortune has smiled on me – here comes my bus” and “Is left-handedness a common phenomenon in Transcaucasia?” – both of which I have in fact used in Georgia, generally eliciting slightly puzzled looks from my interlocutors (none of whom had read Hewitt’s book, thus leaving for me the private pleasure of utilising his phrases).

Reviewed by Anthony Stobart, December 2016 

Note: the review is of the First Edition of the book; a revised edition has also been published (not yet reviewed here)

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